|Publication number||US8023936 B2|
|Application number||US 10/969,087|
|Publication date||Sep 20, 2011|
|Filing date||Oct 20, 2004|
|Priority date||Apr 19, 2004|
|Also published as||US20050232185|
|Publication number||10969087, 969087, US 8023936 B2, US 8023936B2, US-B2-8023936, US8023936 B2, US8023936B2|
|Inventors||John G. Hudson, Rolf P. Dietiker, Michelle P. Bui|
|Original Assignee||The Boeing Company|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (23), Non-Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (13), Classifications (19), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) (1) to the following provisional patent application, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety Ser. No. 60/563,358, filing date Apr. 19, 2004.
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates generally to network monitoring, and more particularly, to a method and system to manage ad-hoc network nodes.
2. Description of Related Art
Computer networks exist and operate in various forms. Networks include local area networks, wide area networks, wireless networks, the Internet and others. An ad-hoc network, as used herein throughout the specification is a network that is constantly changing. An ad-hoc network node is an entity that is capable of joining or leaving the ad-hoc network at any given time.
Various entities exist that may fall within the ad-hoc network node concept described above. For example, aircrafts, ships, boats, trains, buses and even automobiles can be classified as ad-hoc network nodes if they are monitored using a network. With today's changing global society it is important to efficiently and reliably monitor these ad-hoc network nodes. The term node and ad-hoc network node; and network and ad-hoc network are used interchangeably throughout this specification.
Conventional monitoring systems fail to effectively monitor ad-hoc network nodes. For example, in the case of aircrafts, currently, ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System) a standard message format incorporated herein by reference in its entirety, SITA Flight Briefing Service and other similar systems report data on aircraft flight operations by sending and receiving radio frequency or facsimile messages from a ground station. ACARS and SITA collect information on an aircraft and send messages from the aircraft to a ground station where the messages are sent to a computer.
Although useful, the data reported by ACARS and the other available systems is delayed and sometimes interrupted or not available for a number of reasons, such as the aircraft being out of range, or weather conditions, etc.
Real-time aircraft location/position data (may also be referred to as navigation data), for example, longitude and latitude of an airborne aircraft may be collected via satellites. An airplane communicates with one or more satellite and data is sent to a satellite gateway. The gateway in turn provides navigation data to one or more ground stations. Real-time information and ACARS messages are often un-correlated and hence under utilized.
Therefore, there is a need for a method and system that can receive plural data inputs and efficiently monitor ad-hoc network node (for example, aircraft) status.
In one aspect of the present invention, a method for monitoring a mobile ad-hoc network node using an ad-hoc network is provided. The method includes, receiving a message notifying when a network node is preparing to join the ad-hoc network; determining based on a threshold value, when the ad-hoc network node should be active; and receiving a message notifying when the ad-hoc network node will no longer be part of the ad-hoc network. The message is received by a monitoring system via a source external to the ad-hoc network. The method also includes, generating a status message if the ad-hoc network node fails to join the monitoring system.
In yet another aspect, a computer-readable medium storing computer-executable process steps of a process for use in a computer system for monitoring a mobile ad-hoc network node using an ad-hoc network. The medium includes, code for receiving a message notifying when a mobile ad-hoc node is preparing to join the ad-hoc network; and code for determining based on a threshold value, when the mobile ad-hoc node should be joining the ad-hoc network. The computer readable medium also includes code for generating a status message if the mobile ad-hoc node fails to join the ad-hoc network.
In yet another aspect of the present invention, an apparatus for monitoring a mobile ad-hoc network node is provided. The apparatus includes, a storage device for storing computer executable process steps; and a processor for executing computer executable process steps for receiving a message notifying when a mobile ad-hoc node is preparing to join the ad-hoc network; and determining based on a threshold value, when the mobile ad-hoc node should be joining the ad-hoc network.
In yet another aspect, the present invention includes, a system for monitoring a mobile ad-hoc node using an ad-hoc network is provided. The system includes, a data center that receives a message notifying when the mobile ad-hoc node is preparing to join the ad-hoc network; and determines based on a threshold value, when the mobile ad-hoc node should be joining the data center. The message is received via a source external to the ad-hoc network.
In one aspect, the present invention provides a monitoring system that utilizes automated data external to an ad-hoc network (e.g. the Internet or any other network) to receive data from and send messages to an ad-hoc network node (e.g. an aircraft).
In yet another aspect, an operations data system is connected to a data-center that continuously monitors the status of an ad-hoc network node (e.g. an aircraft) aircraft in real-time, either directly or in conjunction with any existing reporting system. The present invention allows a control center, or any other entity to efficiently monitor ad-hoc nodes.
In one aspect, the present invention provides flight operations data system that receives information from existing aircraft reporting systems, and may utilize this information to predict the status of an aircraft.
This brief summary has been provided so that the nature of the invention may be understood quickly. A more complete understanding of the invention can be obtained by reference to the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments thereof, in connection with the attached drawings.
The objects and features of the present invention, which are believed to be novel, are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages, may best be understood by reference to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
The following description is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the invention and sets forth the best modes contemplated by the inventors of carrying out their invention. Various modifications, however, will remain readily apparent to those skilled in the art, since the generic principles of the present invention have been defined herein, specifically to provide for a method and system for monitoring the status of ad-hoc nodes in real-time and sending messages to the ad-hoc node and/or an operations center using the ad-hoc network (for example, the Internet).
In one aspect of the present invention, a method and system is provided whereby an aircraft having an on-board installation for high-speed Internet access may be continuously monitored from a ground station and receive messages via the Internet from the ground station. The system may work alone or in conjunction with other aircraft reporting systems fed from airline control centers to monitor the status of aircraft from loading to unloading and to send messages via the Internet to the aircraft and or airline control centers via email or other systems.
It is noteworthy that although the examples provided below to illustrate the adaptive aspects of the present invention are based on monitoring aircraft flight status, the same method and system can be used to monitor other ad-hoc nodes, for example, ships, trains, buses and/or automobiles.
To facilitate an understanding of the preferred embodiments of the invention, the general architecture and operation of a system for collecting an aircraft's flight operations data will be described. The specific architecture and operation of the preferred embodiments will then be described with reference to the general architecture.
Data Collection System:
It is noteworthy that the ad-hoc network in this example is Internet 101, however, the adaptive aspects of the present invention may be implemented using any type of network, for example, SITA or ARINC, a private network or any other automated system that can send and receive messages from an ad-hoc node. Also since data center 105A is operationally coupled to the Internet 101, it can also be classified as an ad-hoc network.
Satellite 103 collects aircraft 102A flight data and navigation data, which is then passed to satellite gateway 104, that is functionally, coupled to Internet 101 (described below) and/or a data center 105A.
As discussed above, data center 105A includes a network operation center (“NOC”) 105 and an enterprise operation center (“EOC”) 106. Both NOC 105 and EOC 106 include at least a computing system for executing the computer-executable code, according to one aspect of the present invention. A description of a computing system used by NOC 105 and/or EOC 106 is provided below.
NOC 105 monitors a computing network by receiving input from plural sources, for example, ACARS messages, and real-time aircraft status information. NOC 105 processes the various inputs, according to the adaptive aspects of the present invention.
It is noteworthy that the invention is not limited to data center 105A architecture. NOC 105 and EOC 106 may be an integral part of data center 105A to execute the process steps of the present invention. The modular components shown in various figures and described herein are intended to illustrate the adaptive aspects of the present invention and not to limit the present invention to any particular configuration.
In one aspect, ACARS message 108 may be sent using electronic mail or file transfer protocol (“FTP”). It is noteworthy that the adaptive aspects of the present invention are not limited to any particular protocol or system for transferring ACARS messages. ACARS messages 108 may be stored in database 105B and is accessible to both NOC 105 and EOC 106 for processing, as described below.
ACARS pre-flight message (INT) 108A includes basic flight information, for example, departure city, schedules departure time, scheduled arrival time, and scheduled arrival city.
Message (ACARS (OUT) 108B includes, actual departure time and passenger loading. Message 108C (ACARS(OFF) provides the time when the aircraft takes off and the time it is in the air.
Message 108D (ACARS (ONN) provides the time when the aircraft lands and message 108E (ACARS (INN) provides the actual arrival time at the gate, actual arrival airport and arrival city.
Ground station 104 provides real-time data, described above with respect to
Data 109 is received from aircraft data center 102 and includes an IATA airline identifier, flight number, aircraft's unique tail number, the actual departure airport, arrival airport, distance to destination, destination-estimated time of arrival and the time to destination.
Data 110 may be from any other source, for example, a government entity during an emergency and is received by data center 105A via the Internet 101. Data 110 may be delayed or real-time.
Also provided with computer 10 are a keyboard 13 for entering data and user commands, and a pointing device 14 for processing objects displayed on monitor 11.
Computer 10 includes a computer-readable memory storage device 15 for storing readable data. Besides other programs, storage device 15 can store application programs including web browsers by which computer 10 connect to the Internet 101, and the computer-executable code according to the present invention.
According to one aspect of the present invention, computer 10 can also access computer-readable floppy disks storing data files, application program files, and computer executable process steps embodying the present invention or the like via a floppy disk drive 16. A CD-ROM, or CD R/W (read/write) interface (not shown) may also be provided with computer 10 to access application program files, and data files stored on a CD-ROM.
A modem, an integrated services digital network (ISDN) connection, or the like also provide computer 10 with an Internet connection 12 to the World Wide Web (WWW). The Internet connection 12 allows computer 10 to download data files, application program files and computer-executable process steps embodying the present invention from Internet 101.
It is noteworthy that the present invention is not limited to the
As described above, storage device 15 stores operating system program files, application program files, web browsers, and other files. Some of these files are stored using an installation program. For example, CPU 20 executes computer-executable process steps of an installation program so that CPU 20 can properly execute the application program.
Random access memory (“RAM”) 27 also interfaces to computer bus 21 to provide CPU 20 with access to memory storage. When executing stored computer-executable process steps from storage device 15 (or other storage media such as floppy disk 16 or WWW connection 12), CPU 20 stores and executes the process steps out of RAM 27.
Read only memory (“ROM”) 28 is provided to store invariant instruction sequences such as start-up instruction sequences or basic input/output operating system (BIOS) sequences for operation of keyboard 13.
Computer-executable process steps, according to one aspect of the present invention may be performed using the Internet 101. The following provides a brief description of the Internet.
The Internet connects plural computers world wide through well-known protocols, for example, Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)/Internet Protocol (IP), into a vast network. Information on the Internet is stored world wide as computer files, mostly written in the Hypertext Mark Up Language (“HTML”). Other mark up languages, e.g., Extensible Markup Language (XML) as published by W3C Consortium, Version 1, Second Edition, October 2000, ©W3C may also be used. The collection of all such publicly available computer files is known as the World Wide Web (WWW). The WWW is a multimedia-enabled hypertext system used for navigating the Internet and is made up of hundreds of thousands of web pages with images and text and video files, which can be displayed on a computer monitor. Each web page can have connections to other pages, which may be located on any computer connected to the Internet.
A typical Internet user uses a client program called a “Web Browser” to connect to the Internet. A user can connect to the Internet via a proprietary network, such as America Online or CompuServe, or via an Internet Service Provider, e.g., Earthlink. The web browser may run on any computer connected to the Internet. Currently, various browsers are available of which two prominent browsers are Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
The Web Browser receives and sends requests to a web server and acquires information from the WWW. A web server is a program that, upon receipt of a request, sends the requested data to the requesting user.
A standard naming convention known as Uniform Resource Locator (“URL”) has been adopted to represent hypermedia links and links to network services. Most files or services can be represented with a URL. URLs also enable two programs on two separate computers to communicate with each other through simple object access protocol (“SOAP”), extensible markup language (“XML”), and other protocols published by the W3C consortium, incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
URLs enable Web Browsers to go directly to any file held on any WWW server. Information from the WWW is accessed using well-known protocols, including the Hypertext Transport Protocol (“HTTP”), the Wide Area Information Service (“WAIS”) and the File Transport Protocol (“FTP”), over TCP/IP protocol. The transfer format for standard WWW pages is Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). It is noteworthy that the invention is not limited to standard WWW or W3C protocols for server access and information exchange.
Turning in detail to
In step S202, NOC 105 sends a status message to the airline or any other entity that has interest in monitoring the flight status of aircraft 102A.
If aircraft 102A does not join NOC 105 in step S400, then in step S401, the process sends a message to a competent entity to start investigating why aircraft 102A failed to join NOC 105. Various tools may be used to start the investigation, for example, an email or instant message may be sent to the airline, via Internet 101 to seek further clarification on the status. The airline can then send an electronic message to aircraft 102A. It is noteworthy that encrypted and secured messages may be used for electronic communication. Also, if authorized, data center 105A may directly send a message to aircraft 102A via Internet 101. ACARS 108A may also be correlated with real-time data 104A, to ascertain the potential failure in step S400.
If aircraft 102A joins in step S400 then in step S402, NOC 105 sends an updated message to the airline or any other entity.
As shown in
In step S501, data center 105A receives message 108D, when the plane lands. In step S502, NOC 105 determines (using processing module 105D) if aircraft 102A landed within a certain window of time to ascertain if aircraft 102A arrived on time. If aircraft 102A arrived on time (or time window) then in step S503 the status of aircraft 102A is updated.
If there is a deviation in aircraft 102A arrival time, i.e., if it arrived too soon or too late, then the process triggers an investigation in step S504. The investigation is conducted to determine the cause for early arrival or delay. Again data 104A, 109 and 110 may be used to determine the cause for such deviation. A message may be sent to the airline or aircraft 102A, or any other entity involved in the flight. The message may be sent using Internet 101.
Various report formats are made available, based on an end-user's needs. For example, window 600 shows the geographic region where Internet access was provided on aircraft 102A to passengers. Window 601 provides a listing of cases with abnormal flight patterns, based on the severity of the cases. Window 601 shows that flight 8914 experienced an 8-minute unplanned signal loss. Window 602 provides a graphical display of ‘high severity” reports based on time.
Window 603 shows a listing of all support cases by a customer and window 604 shows a listing of all orders for a customer. The reports in
In one aspect, the present invention provides a flight operations data system that utilizes the Internet to receive data from and send messages to an aircraft. The present invention provides flight operations data system that receives information from existing aircraft reporting systems, and may utilize this information to predict the status of an aircraft. The present invention, in yet another aspect, provides an improved flight operations data system that utilizes the Internet to receive data from and send messages to an aircraft in conjunction with existing aircraft reporting systems to enhance the data available to an airline company or any other entity.
In yet another aspect, an improved flight operations data system is connected to a Network Operating Center that continuously monitors the status of the aircraft in real-time, either directly or in conjunction with any existing aircraft reporting system on the aircraft.
Those skilled in the art will appreciate that there are adaptations and modifications of the just-described preferred embodiments that can be configured without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Therefore, it is to be understood, that within the scope of the intended claims, the invention may be practiced other than is specifically described herein.
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|U.S. Classification||455/421, 342/455, 709/229, 342/454|
|International Classification||H04B7/19, H04L12/26, H04L12/28, H04L12/56, H04L29/08|
|Cooperative Classification||H04B7/18504, H04L67/125, H04W24/00, H04B7/18506, H04W76/02, H04W84/18, H04W76/06|
|European Classification||H04B7/185B4, H04W24/00, H04L29/08N11M|
|Oct 20, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: THE BOEING COMPANY, ILLINOIS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HUDSON, JOHN G.;DIETIKER, ROLF P.;BUI, MICHELLE P.;REEL/FRAME:015920/0994
Effective date: 20041010
|Mar 20, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4